BYU to join West Coast Conference in 2011

By The Beacon | September 11, 2010 9:00pm

By Bruce Garlinghouse, Staff Writer --

The dynamics of college sports have changed significantly this summer as many schools such as the University of Utah, University of Nebraska, and University have Colorado have decided to leave their respective conferences for a new home beginning in 2011.

Brigham Young University made the jump this past week and will be leaving the Mountain West Conference joining the University of Portland in the West Coast Conference.

BYU will bring eight sports teams to the conference, including men and women's teams in basketball, cross country, golf, tennis, track as well as women's soccer, women's volleyball and baseball.

"In general, I think it is really exciting to have another big name school in the conference," said head women's basketball coach Jim Sollars in an e-mail. "They have solid teams across the board and will force us to meet their challenge."

BYU's basketball program is will arguably be the most notable program joining the conference, boasting a record of 127-40 and going to the "Big Dance" the last four years.

BYU's women's soccer team is ranked 13th according to, adding another nationally ranked program to the WCC which already includes 8th ranked Santa Clara and 14th ranked San Diego.

"BYU women's soccer program is a perennial conference champion and I'm sure will continue to strive do so within the WCC," Associate Director of Soccer Garrett Smith said in an e-mail. "The recent addition of BYU to the WCC in my opinion will only enhance the conference."

With stronger competition on the field or on the court, brings stronger competition in recruiting. Being in a new conference often attracts different athletes from different regions.

But UP baseball coach Christopher Sperry isn't worried about losing recruits to the new program.

"BYU looks for a specific kid to meet their profile. I don't see it being a problem," Sperry said.

In an e-mail statement from Joseph Houck, Head Coach of UP's women's volleyball team, the addition of BYU will put the team in a better position to recruit higher profile athletes.

Because the WCC isn't a division 1 football division BYU will become an independent in football.